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The king and the rav walked to the royal coach and the golden treasure chest was opened.  The sight was dazzling and mesmerizing, the various gems and pearls sparkled in the sunlight.  There was an amazing interplay of different colors refracted through the prisms and surfaces of the various gems.  The talents of gold also glistened with an exquisite shine. The king closed the chest. Guards were summoned to bring it in to the rav’s home.  Unbeknown to the sincere rav, the king had prearranged with his loyal servants and it was the ancient chest filled with grass that was brought into the rav’s home.  The unsuspecting rav reassured the king that the contents of the chest would be guarded well.

The king left musing to himself; “Who can I trust more than the hapless Rabbi of Rome to conduct a “Seder” over the ancient treasure chest of grass?  Ah, soon the creature will be released and we will finally witness the end of the Jews!   Yes, I ruler of Rome, will become a legend. I will be the catalyst for the annihilation of all the Jews from the face of the Earth!  Ha!”


The rav faithfully guarded the king’s golden treasure chest and used it in place of his table.  The rav’s wife began covering the golden treasure chest with a tablecloth, using a special one for Shabbos.   Of course there was serious preparation under way for the upcoming Yom Tov of Pesach.   Every nook and cranny was examined.  The house was constantly swept, washed and cleaned.   Extra care was taken concerning the king’s personal treasure.  By royal decree it was not to be opened and there was certainly no thought to check it for chometz.   After all, the rav had examined its contents on that fateful day the king and his soldiers had driven into the Ghetto.

No doubt, that had been a night filled with terror, but Baruch Hashem the matter was all behind them.  The family was careful to make sure someone was always home to ensure the chest was safe from thieves.   Additionally, the matter had not been publicized.

Finally Erev Pesach arrived. The rebbitzen busied herself setting the familiar Pesach tablecloth over the table and setting it in as regal a way as the rav could afford.  The ka’aroh was set in place as were the kosos.  The carefully baked shmurah matzah were covered, the rav and others were meticulously checking the marror and the rebbitzen and her helpers prepared the special foods. Finally haggadahs were arranged around the covered treasure chest while pillows and cushions were positioned on the chairs where the men would be seated.  The rebbetzin brought the rav his kittel, candles were lit, Shehecheyanu was recited with joy, and the menfolk made their way to shul. The rebbitzen and women of the household davened and waited with great anticipation for the men to return home to start the festive Seder.

The rav and the male members of his family returned from shul.  Wine was poured and with great reverence the rav lifted his kos and began to recite Kiddush.

Suddenly a voice rang out: “Baruch Dayan haEmes, chometz babayis, Praised be the true Judge, there is chometz in the house!”  The rav ignored the voice thinking that it was merely his imagination.  He began to recite Kiddush again.

Once more a voice rang out and said, “Baruch Dayan haEmes, chometz babayis, Praised be the true Judge, there is chometz in the house!”  At this point, all the members of the rav’s household began trembling.   The rav began examining the cracks and crevices of his humble home for the unwanted chometz, but he found nothing.  He sent members of his family out to some prominent community leaders asking them to interrupt their own sedorim and come quickly to his home.  As the individuals approached the rav’s house, they were sure something dreadful had taken place. They assembled around the “table” and watched the rav lift up his kos and begin to say the sacred words of Kiddush.   Suddenly, a voice rang out in a loud cry, “Baruch Dayan haEmes, chometz babayis!” Everyone in the room trembled.


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